Clarke County School Superintendent Phil Lanoue won't take the top job in the Fulton County school system, he said this morning.
Lanoue—who's embroiled in a scandal involving an alleged sexual assault at Cedar Shoals High School last month—told parents and district employees in an email that he's decided to stay in Athens.
Fulton County named him the sole finalist to be their new superintendent Feb. 5, a day after news broke that three CSHS students had been arrested on charges of raping a classmate on Jan. 7. They were not suspended, and the information wasn't shared with parents, students or teachers, angering many in the community.
The Fulton school board was set to formally offer Lanoue the $295,000-a-year job on Feb. 19, after a two-week public comment period, but it never did. He would have taken over May 1.
The Clarke County Board of Education met in closed session Monday to discuss a personnel matter. Maybe this was it.
Lanoue's full email is below:
After much reflection, and in consult with my family and the CCSD administrative team, I have come to a decision that home - here in Clarke County - is where I need to be. Therefore, I have withdrawn my name from the superintendent search process in Fulton County.
These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult, and it’s clear to me that while we have made incredible strides, there is still much to be done. This community is one that rallies behind its schools, in good times and in bad. This is where I want and need to be.
I look forward to our work together in the future. Our dialogue remains open. Our parents are our most important partners, and our teachers are the ones who make it happen each and every day in our classrooms. Your voice matters, and we will continue working together to do what is right for all students.